Last April, Julie was invited to attend the General Assembly of International network for contemporary performing arts (IETM) in Amsterdam and participated in two panels entitled “Advocating for the Arts” and “Towards an inclusive culture”.
The goal of these sessions was to exchange ideas, experiences and best practices on how to convince policy-makers – on local, national and European levels - of the essential role culture and the arts play in the development of inclusive European societies.
Julie shared her view that in these troubled times, Culture must be the battle field of today's politics.
“At the moment, Culture is a disputed and controversial concept, as well as a very political issue, at European level as much as in Member States. But, unlike what conservative and retrograde forces want us to believe, culture is not a fixed and static object. It's constantly evolving and changing with societies and the challenges they face.
As a response to the dramatic events that Europe has faced in recent years, I want to celebrate cultural diversity, empower marginalised communities through the arts and culture and, ultimately, share a positive narrative on different cultures. This is what should be the ultimate purpose of the European Cultural policy, and the only way to break down the barriers that lead to discrimination, racism and extremism.
Today more than ever, it is important to reclaim culture as a Commons, as we strive towards a more open, more inclusive, more participatory, and more cooperative model of democracy for the 21st century.
To me, culture is a shared resource and a public good, not a separate 'policy' subject. This is the stance I want to take as a member of the committee on Culture and Education in the European Parliament.”
IETM published a full report of the sessions including recommendations resulting from the meetings.